Beyond the Crossroads: Transforming Research Support Services at Te Herenga Waka Library

Beyond the Crossroads: Transforming Research Support Services at Te Herenga Waka Library

Trish Wilson (Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Aubrey Kirkpatrick (Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Katy Miller (Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) and Marcus R. Harvey (Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4546-1.ch013
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The key strategic goal for research at Te Herenga Waka ‑ Victoria University of Wellington is to create a culture of ambitious research for transformative impact. To support this goal, a library restructure and investment in library teams supporting research has enabled a detailed understanding of the university's research output and how to increase its visibility. New working relationships and clearly defined research initiatives have demonstrated the diverse value of the library. New services and tools are outlined that help create value for schools, academics, and postgraduates; benchmark university performance; develop tailored services; enhance research profiles; and foster collaboration. Challenges and opportunities remain, including developing a university policy to support open access (OA) research and a new OA research repository to aid the promotion of, and access to, university research. The library continues to change perceptions of its services and works collaboratively to enhance individual and university research reputations.
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Background And Context

Founded in 1897 in Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Herenga Waka’s vision is “to be a world-leading capital city university and one of the great global-civic universities” with a shared purpose of “research, teaching, and engagement that transforms lives” (Te Herenga Waka, 2019, p. 5). One of eight public universities in New Zealand, Te Herenga Waka offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and in 2018 had a full-time equivalent student population of approximately 17,500 and over 1000 teaching and research staff of which approximately 46% are international academics (Victoria University of Wellington, 2018; QS, 2020).

Universities are maturing in their view of how their research engages the outside world and considering impact beyond citations and scholarly recognition. Professor Wendy Larner, University Provost, in her address as the Royal Society Te Apārangi President, discussed the current highly individualised research model as being outdated in today’s world where deep interpersonal relationships, co-designing of research and tackling the grand challenges were at the fore (Larner, 2019). This perspective is also reflected in Te Herenga Waka’s recently refreshed Strategic Plan 2020-2024 as shown in Figure 1, particularly the following two of the five key strategies: Ambitious research for transformative impact; Engagement that deepens relevance, impact, and reputation (Te Herenga Waka, 2019).

Figure 1:

Te Herenga Waka Strategic Plan (Source: © 2019, Te Herenga Waka. Used with permission.)


Key Terms in this Chapter

Researchers: University staff undertaking research, including academic faculty members and postgraduate students.

Research Support Librarians: Librarians whose roles are focussed on developing and delivering research support services

Research Support Services: A range of services aimed at supporting researchers and the institution’s research strategies.

Subject Librarians: Librarians who are focused on supporting disciplines with research, learning and teaching support.

Research Outputs: Published output of research, e.g. journal articles, chapters, conference papers.

Impact: The degree to which research outputs have been referred to or used as indicated by research metrics.

Metrics: The tools and processes used to measure the performance of university research outputs, including bibliometrics.

Scholarly Publishing: Refers to the process of scholarly writing being created, peer reviewed, and disseminated to the scholarly community via reputable sources such as peer reviewed journals. Also known as scholarly communication.

Open Access: The unrestricted online access to research outputs such as journal articles and books with content open to all and no access fees.

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